How to watch, listen and stream
Game Time: Tuesday, November 29, 6:30 P.M.
Radio: 700 WLW
TV: Fox Sports 1. Steve Physioc and Dickey Simpkins on the call
Xavier is favored by 16.5 points, according to OddsShark.
This is the first-ever meeting between the Xavier Musketeers and the North Dakota State Bison, last year’s Summit League Champion. No. 7 Xavier is 6-0 on the season and has won 26 straight nonconference home games. North Dakota State is 5-2 with a notable victory over Arkansas State, featured in the “also receiving votes” category of the AP poll.
Forwards Paul Miller and A.J. Jacobson lead North Dakota State in scoring. The 6-foot-6 sharpshooters are posting marks of 64 percent from beyond the arc so far and will challenge Xavier’s post players around the perimeter. Their scoring ability may entice Chris Mack to experiment with a smaller lineup that features Trevon Bluiett at center.
Xavier’s starting guards are averaging almost eight turnovers for the season. North Dakota State, who lacks interior strength, should look to pressure Xavier on the perimeter; the Bison force 14 turnovers and eight steals per game.
North Dakota State doesn’t give significant playing time to anyone taller than 6-foot-6. Also, no player averages more than five rebounds per game. Xavier, who outrebounded Northern Iowa by 22 last Saturday, has a significant advantage in the paint. Edmond Sumner will definitely have open space when he barrels to the rim, and big men Sean O’Mara and RaShid Gaston should lead Xavier to a significant rebounding advantage.
Player to Watch: Edmond Sumner
Xavier’s point guard is coming off of a 14-point, seven-assist, and four-rebound performance against Northern Iowa. Against a smaller North Dakota State team, Sumner should find more open space to finish around the rim as well as fewer contested teammates in the post. Specifically, Sumner’s pick and roll with Trevon Bluiett that Northern Iowa struggled to defend could be an oft-used weapon Tuesday night by opening even more space for Sumner to attack the basket or force a smaller defender onto the dangerous Blueitt.